CFP: ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’, Glasgow

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by Hannah Tweed

Monday 3rd April – Tues 4th April 2017

University of Glasgow

The Wellcome Trust-funded Conference ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’ brings contemporary Western expertise into dialogue with psychotherapeutic approaches from ‘other’ spatially, historically or otherwise ‘distant’ cultures. The Conference Committee invites abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute presentations, to be submitted by no later than 31st August 2016.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Chiara Thumiger, Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick: ‘Therapies of the word in ancient medicine’
  • Dr Jennifer Lea, Geography, University of Exeter: ‘Building “A Mindful Nation”? The use of mindfulness meditation in educational, health and criminal justice settings’
  • Dr Claudia Lang, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich: ‘Theory and practice in Ayurvedic psychotherapy’
  • Dr Elizabeth Roxburgh, Psychology, University of Northampton: ‘Anomalous experiences and mental health’

University of Glasgow Organizing Committee:

  • Dr Gavin Miller (Chair), Medical Humanities Research Centre/English Literature
  • Dr Sofia Xenofontos, Classics
  • Dr Cheryl McGeachan, Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Dr Ross White, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Papers should address one or more of the conference’s four themes:

1. Ancient approaches to psychotherapy
This theme seeks to explore ancient and medieval approaches to psychotherapy from the Egyptian and Babylonian world, the Graeco-Roman antiquity, the Chinese and medieval Islamic and Jewish traditions. It aims to foreground various ancient practices used in ‘the cure of the soul’, investigating the extent to which modern psychiatric techniques draw upon such wisdom traditions. Other key goals will be to distinguish diverse conceptions of selfhood required or advanced in psychotherapeutic settings, and to consider the borders between religion, medicine, and philosophy.

2. Geographies of Psychotherapy
We invite papers that wish to examine the development of psychological ideas and practices and their transformative effect over a range of (global) spaces, sites and places. Although not limited to such themes, we encourage critical debates into the uneven development of psychological practices over time and space, the changing spatialities of caring practices, embodied practices of healing, and writing psychotherapeutic geographies.

3. Postcolonial/Indigenous Psychotherapies
The emergence of different, competing schools of Western psychotherapy has been accompanied by rapid development in the capacity to share knowledge globally. Western psychotherapies are juxtaposed with forms of healing based on markedly different epistemic and philosophical underpinnings. This theme considers whether indigenous forms of healing in LMICs can be viewed as de facto psychotherapies. Attention will focus on the dynamics of power in post-colonial contexts and how this has influenced the perceived credibility of western vs indigenous forms of therapeutic/healing interaction.

4. Subcultural Psychotherapies
We invite critical engagement with the propensity to see subcultural participation (bodybuilding, gaming, body modification, BDSM, Goth, Emo, etc.) as cause or predictor of psychopathology. While remaining open to subcultural pathogenesis, we encourage exploration of subculture’s therapeutic/salutogenic dimensions, including the recovery/survivor movement, popular/mass culture, new religious movements, and anomalous experiences such as mediumship and therianthropy.

Abstract submission
Abstracts (.doc, .docx, .rtf) should be emailed to arts-otherpsychs@glasgow.ac.uk by no later than 31 August 2016 along with a short biography (100 words or less). Abstracts will be considered by the conference organizing committee, and notifications will be communicated by no later than 30 September 2016.

Journal Issue
There will be an opportunity for a selection of papers presented at the conference to be developed into a thematic issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Transcultural Psychiatry (http://tps.sagepub.com/) that will be entitled ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’.

Downloadable call
A .pdf of this call may be downloaded: OtherpsychsCFP.

Contact details

If you have any queries, please contact us at arts-otherpsychs@glasgow.ac.uk or via Twitter on @otherpsychs.

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